Character Spotlight: Nicholas Quartermaine

  Nicholas is my protagonist in To Befriend a Vampire.  Normally I have huge casts and don’t like to be confined to just one mind, but Nicky is different.  With my life-long vampire obsession, I have always wanted to do a story about this creature I have so long loved.  (And Twilight sparkle-monsters are not — I repeat, are not — vampires.  I grew up devouring a small book of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Twilight stinks.  Reeks.  It’s putrid).  In Metamorphosis, the Vampires are devoid of emotion, rendering them evil by instinct.  As much as I loved my babies, I really wanted to portray vampires from a more human sense.  That’s what they were originally, after all.  Just people like you and me before they were infected.  So Nicky was just a poor kid who managed to get himself into a bad situation … and has lived regretting it for two hundred years.

Anyway, let me introduce you: Nicky, blog folk.  Blog folk, this is Nicky.

Q. Nicky, we don’t really have a picture of you — what do you look like?

I actually prefer going by Nicholas.

Me: Don’t glare at me, buddy.

I will be ignoring you, Ana.  And I look like a vampire.

Me: That’s descriptive.

Fine — white skin, really dark red eyes, I actually have a widow’s peak.  Oh, yeah, and I have fangs — see?

Me: Yes, thank you for scaring my readers, Nicky.  And guys, he’s actually quite handsome.  Strangely, he’s always looked like the stereotypical vampire — sunken cheeks, low, dark eyebrows, thin lips, slightly longer face, black hair….  It’s quite funny.

*Nicholas mumbles something unintelligible*

Me: This is basically what he looks like … with a sleek ponytail, white skin, and no facial hair….This looks a bit like Nicky.  He's hard to cast.

Q. So … do you not like your author, Nicholas?

Well….  She’s actually bearable.  She’s nice enough most days.

Q. So you’re about two hundred years old, right?  How did you turn into a vampire?

Yeah, yeah.  I was born in 1802.  And how I turned does happen to be my private business, although I’m sure Ana is dying to write it.

Q. She’s mentioned something about a watch that belonged to your brother.  Can you tell us more about it?

It’s very accurate.

Me: Nicholas.

All right, fine!  It’s silver and has magical properties.

Q. Well … what kind of magical properties?

It, uh, transports the one who holds it to fairyland.

Me: Who can make it work?

Someone who believes in magic.  Which is why I never figured it out for a couple centuries.

Q. So it was someone else who figured it out?  Who was it?

…Piper.  There’s a kid named Piper.  And if you touch her, I will rip your vocal cords out through your navel.

Me: Nicholas!

Q. Have you ever killed anyone…?

We’re getting off the subject.  Let’s talk about you.  Are you … tasty?

Q. All right, fine….  What’s your brother’s name?


Q. Where is he now?

He slayed Cherberus and is now the king of the Underworld.  Hades is his servant.

Q. So he’s … dead?

Yeah.  Have you got a problem with that?  Aren’t people allowed to die in the twenty-first century?

Me: Let’s change the subject.

Q. So do you sleep in a coffin?

I think it would be fun, but no.  That’s bologna.

Q. You seem very modern for a two-hundred-year-old vampire.

One has to blend in.  I’m usually only out at night, but just in case, I learned how to behave myself.

Q. Does the sun burn you or do you sparkle?

Fairies sparkle.  Vampires fry.

Me: He doesn’t get the reference.

What reference?

Me: You don’t want to know.

Q. So is Piper your daughter or something?

Goodness, no!  That would be horrific.

Q. How old is she?  How did you meet her?

She’s five.  As she’ll tell anyone who stands still long enough.  And when her drunken excuse for a mother let me into the house, I snuck into the garage and Piper found me.

Me: Piper found him asleep on a dog bed under a tarp.  It was not one of his proudest moments.

Q. So what is your proudest moment?

Not this one.

Q. How have you spent your two hundred years?

Humans don’t tend to like vampires, so I’ve been evading the hunters.  It makes life … interesting.

Q. If there was one wish you wanted fulfilled, what would it be?

Well, that’s awfully personal!

Me: Just answer the question, Nicky.  You’re exhausting.

Never to see another human being again.

Me: I give up.

Q. What do you feel about us?

You?  You’re the food source.

Q. So why haven’t you eaten Piper?

I just … she kind of became my responsibility.  As soon as I return her to her mother, I’m leaving.

Q. Would you eat her mother?

I do not want that much alcohol in my body.  Her system can get rid of it — it takes far longer with my dead immortality.

Q. Last question: if you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

…Ana calls me a curmudgeon.  I guess that works.

Q. And there’s one request.  Can you give us some parting words?

Be good.  And watch your families well.  Vesuvius might erupt again, you know.

I am sorry for my annoying vampire.  When I had the brilliant idea of introducing him, I forgot what an absolute brat he can be at times.  Especially when there’s an audience involved.  I promise he genuinely has a soft spot — he just pretends he doesn’t.

Is it sad that a character from my own mind is causing me such embarrassment?




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